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ASEAN Summit: Demonetisation, Aadhaar linking find a place in PM Modi’s appeal to investors

In the Philippines for the ASEAN Summit, PM Narendra Modi says demonetisation and Aadhaar linking with bank accounts have led to the formalisation of a big part of the Indian economy.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2017 18:37 IST
‪ASEAN Summit‬,‪Philippines‬‬,Manila
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses businessmen in a parallel event of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on Monday.(AP)

Showcasing economic reforms initiated by his government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited ASEAN countries on Monday to ramp up their investment in India, saying the task of transforming the country was proceeding at an “unprecedented scale”. (LIVE UPDATES)

Addressing the ASEAN Business Forum in Manila, the PM said India’s ‘Act East policy’ put the 10-member bloc at the centre of his country’s engagement, adding that most sectors of the Indian economy were made open for foreign investment.

“We are working day and night towards easy, effective and transparent governance,” he said.

PM Modi, who is in the Philippines on a three-day visit, said demonetisation as well as measures like the linking of Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts led to the formalisation of a big part of the Indian economy.

“We are using our unique ID system in financial transactions and taxation for this purpose and the results are already visible,” Modi said.

“These steps, coupled with demonetisation of high-value notes, has resulted in formalising a large part of our economy. The number of new tax payers filing income tax returns has more than doubled. Digital transactions have increased by 34% as we march together to a less-cash economy,” he said.

The PM said the focus of his government was on making India a global manufacturing hub and that efforts were on to make the youngsters job creators.

“Keeping our emphasis on ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’, about 1,200 outdated laws have been repealed in the last three years. We have simplified processes to start companies and for other clearances,” he said.

Talking about the initiatives to introduce technology, Modi said digital transactions had increased significantly and that technology was being used to reach out to people.

He said large sections of India’s population previously did not have access to banking services, adding that the Jan Dhan Yojana changed that in a matter of months and transformed the lives of millions.

Earlier in the day, PM modi met US President Donald Trump, who congratulated the Indian leader for “a lot of good reports coming out of India”.

The trade ties between India and ASEAN are on an upswing and both sides want to further boost the trade and investment cooperation.

The ASEAN region, along with India, together comprises a combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion.

Investment from ASEAN to India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17 per cent of India’s total FDI. India’s investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than $40 billion.

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 18:36 IST